Category: Match Report

16
Sep

Blenheim Park CC v Great and Little Tew CC – 10th September 2017

Tew on that!

Canham’s kids capitulate as inclement weather is king.

Our forward thinking current captain had devised a very cunning plan to beat not only the opposition but the imminent arrival of the forecast rain by deciding to make the game a thirty over thrash. Both innings were to be completed before tea was to be taken. With the game in some doubt beforehand thanks to showers throughout the week and with the outfield already sodden, thoughts of any seasonal slippery dew having much of an impact on proceedings were obviously misguided.

We started with possibly the widest age range an opening bowling partnership has ever mustered* with 60 year old Walker taking his eponymous end (so to speak) and 13 year old Spearman (Jnr) the pavilion end. Both were equally adept at tying the openers down with only 8 recorded* off the first 6 overs of this newly invented middle distance slog-fest (it will never catch on). Wickets were also hard to come by however (Keysey would have loved the tedium) but at least for now the rain had stayed away.

It wasn’t until the appearance of 3rd change bowler Stoddart (after further tidy spells from Angol & Gokani) that things really started to happen. Not only did the rain arrive but both openers succumbed in a similar fashion – each being clawed by a panther-like-rhino at mid-on. A further wicket was snared when the stocky Stoddart trusted no-one with a skier off his own bowling and a 4th taken when Bobby ‘The Bye’ Kerr managed to make one stick down the leg side. However controversy reigned as the bewildered batsman suggested he hadn’t hit it when adjudicated caught behind. The new 30 over format apparently allows for a batsman to review such decisions and in a stand-off that seemed to last longer than an England openers test career, Captain West did the honourable (and very benevolent) thing and withdrew our appeal.

The rain continued as skipper West’s South Lawn compass went awry whilst he completed the okay-cokey to a skier at long off before ensuring it flew well over his head. In a change to recent Blenheim tactics, the field wasn’t changed immediately after this apparent lack of effort.

Meanwhile, our erstwhile captain, Canham who nowadays tends to bat for the other side had come to the crease and was soon troubled by some dibbly-dobbly nonsense. Twice beaten, he somehow survived to face Stoddart now striding in with a full head of steam from the Walker end. As the bowlers union colluded to hatch their own cunning plan it was left to Stoddart to execute it to perfection canon-balling the confounded Canham first up. Only now can it be exclusively revealed that that plan revolved around ‘getting him out’.

Tew’s innings came to an end on about 122* with the loss of just one further wicket courtesy of Jake Spearman bowling his opposite number having returned for a second spell in the difficult dying overs.

As the drizzle abated only to allow even heavier, almost horizontal showers to intervene, Messrs Shaw & Angol were rewarded for years of hard yakka at The Park by being offered the opportunity to open together. Tew were rewarded for a few minutes of line and length with two early wickets. This came though not before Chairman Shaw controversially didn’t walk having missed a wide one by several feet.
Despite the very clear vacancy for England’s no.3 position Engel declined the opportunity to make it his own. As did West who stepped into the breach and at 8-2 attempted to hit his first ball over cow corner. He missed but survived only to be caught shortly thereafter. At 14-3 off 5 we were praying for Hurricane Harvey to force the draw as mere torrential rain clearly wasn’t enough.

With the pitch now saturated and the ground resembling a swimming pool the covers were removed from the boundary edge to avoid any further storm damage whilst Messrs Cox & Stoddart set about first restoring parity then creating some damage of their own.

Throughout the afternoon boundaries had been hard to come by. That is unless you were James’ Stoddart. There was no stopping him as he pulled, drove, hoiked and biffed the Tew trundlers. Not content with 8 fours, he added two maximums as the game slowly started to turn our way. Coxy, as always, supplied stoical support at the other end until he finally succumbed for 20.

With Blenheim closing in on an unlikely victory and Stoddart on 68, he was given out lbw. He took it like the man he is and walked off muttering about lbw laws and the sheer injustice of it all, like any good batsman defeated by his own umpire should.

So, at 112 -5 and with about* 11 runs required off 6 overs we were almost home (if not dry). Gokani was playing one of those more mature innings of his that we have become accustomed to in recent weeks before being bowled for 10 very valuable runs (and surely worth at least 16 on a decent track). A very strange thing then occurred. The sun made an appearance and thoughts of a second innings were briefly discussed.

At 121-6 we surely couldn’t throw it away could we?

Well, not for the first time in the match Kerr had problems with some slow tosh from the pavilion end – only this time Canham was bowling it rather than missing it (whilst stranded well out of his crease. For goodness sake!).

At 122-7 with 1 run required and 2 overs to go, Jake Spearman joined his dad* at the crease and with a deft flick to fine leg ensured that not only victory was ours but that with his 1 not out and a solitary wicket he had bagged the family bragging rights for at least the forthcoming week.

Make no mistake though, this was Stoddart’s day. Throughout the history of this glorious game there have been matches that have become synonymous with a player’s name – think Laker, Old Trafford, 1956. Botham, Headingly, 1981. To that list we can now add Stoddart, South Lawn, 2017. For years to come this will be referred to as ‘James’s’s game in the rain’.

If Blenheim had an honours board Jame’s Stoddart would have been agonisingly close (but ultimately short) in both batting and bowling departments. So we all retired to the Woody Arms to share Jamess’s’ success only to be disappointed as a. they get their jugs out for no-one there and b. Jame’s didn’t show.

Congratulations anyway to the main man and respect to those who umpired throughout the rain (Raj, Rob, Malc, Allan) and especially to Nigel who maintained an accurate (and dry) scoresheet for the entire innings in the rain. An example to young scorers everywhere.

As was noted after the game, cricket (as well as Blenheim Park Cricket club obviously) was the winner.

* Accurate records appear not to exist

Rhino

22
Aug

Frieth CC vs Blenheim Park CC – 20th August 2017

Our original hosts having pulled out, David Hughes expertly found a pleasant replacement in the bucolic surroundings of Frieth, Bucks. Malcolm won the toss, and was reluctantly persuaded to bat first. This looked a dicey decision when openers Atcherley-Symes and Keyes departed with the score still in single figures, but the skipper and his bestie Martin shored up the innings with a partnership of 64, before Cox snr played for imaginary turn and was bowled. Malcolm, who is finally showing some form just in time for the season to end, biffed and bashed to good effect until he nicked one to the keeper, and seeing the umpires finger about to rise, decided to walk for a robust 48.

This engendered the perennial BPCC middle-order collapse (Will Cox’s first-baller a particular highlight) until the lower order were permitted to feast on some undemanding fodder to pad their season stats. Spearman snr (12), Gokani (20*), Angol (4) and Spearman jnr (13*, which is more than twelve) coaxed the total to a seemingly insufficient 137-9.

Tea was supplemented by the remains of a wedding feat in the next field. Lee disappeared with a couple of bridesmaids and returned with hog-roast in a bap. The bridesmaids are still missing.

Gokani and Will Cox opened the bowling, and by the ten over mark had reduced Frieth to 29 for 6. Three for Will, two for Raj, and one spectacularly misguided attempt to sneak a quick single to a Jonty Rhodes-a-like short third man. When James Talbot won an LBW to leave the hosts reeling at 47-7, it looked all over bar the shouting of Ooh ‘Ello.

But nothing is ever quite so simple in BPCC-land. A couple of canny performers were hiding in the Frieth lower-middle order, and they nudged and nurdled the score upwards until it hit 90, with only 48 runs required from 16 overs. In either inspiration or desperation Malcolm called for his secret weapon, but Matt had pulled out so we had to try Stan instead. The ball was launched in the air towards deep midwicket, and expectant Blenheim faces turned toward their skipper nestling somewhere beneath it.

Memories of his earlier fielding in that position – when an attempted throw from the boundary had risen to remarkable heights but somehow landed no nearer the wicket than the place from where it was despatched – were quickly forgotten, and the skipper and bowler were both soon found congratulating themselves on their skill, with equal justification.

Moments later, we clapped their dangerous biffer on his fifty, and next ball he was bowled by Jake Spearman for 49. Lee then stumped a tiny person and an unlikely 42 run victory was in the books. Many thanks to Frieth for hosting us at short notice.

Jonty-Rhodes-a-like

15
Aug

Blenheim Park CC vs South Wales Hunts CC – 13th August 2017

BPCC vs.South Wales Hunts …
· Them 128 all out – Gorgeous George lived up to this name and took 4-38 with useful contributions from Charlie 2-8 (ish), Spearman snr 2-26 (ish), me 2-38.
· BPCC saw their chance to beat SWH at last! … sadly no one told our batsman and before long the home team was reduced to 22 (ish) for 5 (yes, you read that right) before the captain steadied the ship and played, well, a captain’s innings (43) flamboyantly aided by Charlie B and a boundary strewn 50+.
· Sadly both departed in quick succession to leave the home side requiring around 18 off 10 overs and 2 wickets standing … yours truly came to the crease and promptly hit the last boundary of the game.
· We were still in the hunt (!) but George soon departed to be replaced by Phil the rhino and instructions to play for a draw. A few no-balls and wides followed and the overs continued to dwindle.
· SWH brought back their opening bowler (and ex-Harlequins flanker) who was largely responsible for the early destruction bagging 4 wickets
· Phew! survived his first over.
· 3 overs to go and 7 needed to win.
· Quick single declined. Maiden.
· Penultimate over, star bowler, Rhino facing, peach. Bowled. Lost
· On the upside, great tea from the Spearman family
· Usual standard cake from Mrs Kerr – I think she needs more practice though! Pl send our thanks!

Rajendrakrishna

09
Aug

Great and Little Tew CC vs Blenheim Park CC – 6th August 2017

Match Report by Dropert Kerr

BPCC Undone by SAFFA semi-pro (again)
BPCC-194/9 Great Tew 196/6 (40over match)

Blenheim batted first Openers Keyes and Kerr faced with some hostile bowling got the side off to a solid start 62 off 13 overs with Keyes crashing fours to both sides of the wicket and Kerr holding up the other end Keyes (42) was caught at first slip by the same fielder who dropped him 3rd ball. Rupert Kelly soon got the pace of the wicket and looked assured as he scored runs freely. Kerr departed bowled by their Overseas Professional Adams. Phil Boardman(2) putting on the whites for the first time in a decade also perished in similar fashion (Adams 8o/1m/2w/15) – West and Kelly ran well between the wickets keeping the scoreboard ticking West was bowled (15), John Blunt(2) came and went bringing Alan Engel to wicket , unused to finding a partner running twos found the going tough but got his bat on enough ball to accumulate 12 runs before being forced to retire (surely a first) due “being unable to breath” …or poss a way of preserving his batting average. Kelly perished for a well earned 60 – Spearman father and son had a brief partnership until Father called for a little over optimistic single and was run out (3) Angol struck a fine four and both he and Jake Spearman remained not out.

Tea (8/10)was taken in their smart clubhouse (Sky TV + Wifi FFS !)

Great Tew started slowly and were soon under the spell of birthday boy Angol , for the first time in recent memory he bowled his 8 overs on the bounce, and proceeded to remove the top three batsmen (8/0/3/24)- Spearman Snr kept things tight at the other end. West came on and after giving them 3 long hops on leg side that were despatched to the boundary managed to beguile them with one on the stumps and Phil Boardman took an good catch with the approach of the Semi Pro Adams to the wicket Capt West promptly took himself off! Keyes bowled a couple of overs but injured his back and had to leave the field – Spearman came back to finish his spell with the highlight being his “Warny” delivery that ex captain now defector Canham played all around and it hit top of middle peg! Rupert K produced our only non spin spell with a one wicket reward and John Blunt was on the end of Adams in full flow. Gokani’s magic turned to cannon fodder .Fast forward and hour as Adams hit a chanceless 115 not out Phil B became quite familiar with the contours of the field over midwicket boundary !– Quite what a player of this standard was bludgeoning our (depleted) bowling attack for on a Sunday afternoon only he will know –
Special mention of Jake Spearman (banned from bowling by his Pa) in the field who was exemplary
And thanks to the supporters Alan /Matt /David/Caroline and Sarah who outnumbered their’s by 5/1
P.S.
Even though we lost thank to Malcolm for calming the team down before walking off the pitch
And boys it was all worth it after we bowled (collective pressure ) middle stump !!!!
PPS
…AND I SEE WE JUST BEAT THE SAFFAS IN THE TEST TO CLINCH FIRST SERIES WIN SINCE 1998 !

05
Jun

Medmenham Village CC v Blenheim Park CC – 4th June 2017

A nice ground, nice pavillion, nice wicket, nice tea, nice opposition, nice cheap beer, nice drive from London. So why did we have to play like shit?

This was the worst performance from BPCC in ages, although a casual perusal of the score-book might lead you to believe that it was a competitive fixture. In fact it was so bad, Malcolm was left in the changing room after the game with a bottle of whisky and a loaded revolver in the hope that he would, for once, do the decent thing.

We won the toss and batted. At Matt Rogers’ insistence, we played a timed game. David Atcherley-Symes bagged a second ball duck, but somehow this was far from being his low point of the day. Lee Keyes then tried to alternately hit the ball out of ground and hit the ball high into the air to land eight feet from where it was struck. Both of these he accomplished with some regularity. Martin tried to keep pace with Lee. Reader, he failed.

Then, of course, Lee got himself out like the prat that he is, and Martin entered “going into his shell” mode. This lasted months. Malcolm came, went, and was last heard of departing for Morocco. David Hughes tried to match Martin lack-of-stroke for lack-of-stroke, and basically succeeded. Medmenham were forced to conjure up some declaration bowling, which lent a veneer of heft to the Cox and Hughes partnership it scarcely deserved. BPCC declared at tea on 173-4 off 43 overs (Cox 88*). There is no truth to the rumour that Malcolm would have instantly declared had Martin looked like reaching three figures.

So far, so average.

Bowling every week on the helpful slope of the South Lawn seems to have engendered a measure of complacency among the BPCC bowlers. Faced with a flat, dull wicket they toiled ineffectually against moderate opposition openers. Nigel exerted some measure of control, but his resolve was understandably tested by bowling a million overs unchanged, then being asked to field deep square leg at both ends. Fielders retreated to unusual positions, sometimes after being asked to go there. Specialist midwicket Matt contrived to push himself even lower down the selection order by dropping two off the captain’s thirty-yard-runup-donkey-drops. Will fielded a ball cleanly on the boundary and then wanged the ball into the tree for a five. David A-S, attempting not to do the same, did something completely indescribable. Lee, predictably, dropped one behind. Even your specialist treasurer-at-slip, condemned to square- and fine-leg by dint of there being some even older and more unfit players, managed to drop a fiendishly spinning dolly, and then took one hard on the ankle for good measure.

The openers put on about one-fifty. We were well and truly gubbed.

This match report was written in excessive pain. I hope it shows.

29
May

BPCC v Wootton – Sunday 28th May 2017

There were new opponents for Blenheim Park CC yesterday, but Wootton didn’t have far to come to make their debut on the South Lawn.

Malcolm won the toss, sensibly opted to bat, and Stoddart and (colonial debutant) Vasu Shah took the attack to the Wootton bowlers from the off, punishing anything wayward. Stoddart hit nine fours and two sixes while bludgeoning 61 in an opening stand of 113, and Shah contributed 63 sweetly-timed runs before an impatient Umpire Spearman sent him on his way marginally before the ball hit his pad, and well before anyone appealed.

But it wouldn’t be a Blenheim innings without a middle-order collapse, and a promising 113-0 became an unsatisfactory 178-7, until Cox jr (34*) and West jr showed their elders, betters and (most importantly) fathers exactly how to bat, guiding the home team to 214-7 off their allotted overs.

Wootton’s reply could hardly have started any worse, as Walker sent back nos 2, 3 & 4, all for ducks, with the team score still in single figures, but the portly opener and the porkpie-hatted number five showed some life and flair with a fifty partnership. Then gently they subsided; Will trapped porkpie with a floaty full-toss, Nigel took a stunning overhead catch, and Raj induced somebody to demolish his own stumps, as BPCC eased to a comfortable 101 run win.

Oh yeah, and Phil took a hat-trick.

El Treasurino

22
May

BPCC v Bodleian Library – Sunday 21st May 2017

Bodleian Library Silenced by Stoddart

On a gloriously sunny day at Blenheim , the mower refused to start leaving the wicket somewhat green. Walker was licking his lips at the prospect of bowling at his erstwhile teammates. Coxy(0) got one that moved a foot and bowled him middlepeg but that was to be Walkers only scalp  Newboy David Acheley-Symes (about time we had a smattering of double barrelled names) took some time to adjust to his new found palatial surroundings, James Stoddart looked assured from the start and was soon ticking the score along  reaching his 50  with apparent consummate ease (65/1) David A-S realised he was somewhat behind his partner in scoring rate and promptly hit 26 off an over! Stoddart was eventually bowled (82) and West who had been padded up for 25 overs lasted  an over (6)and was soon back on back on “his” bench he had so recently vacated.

With only 8 overs to go David A-S succumbed  (57) and a flurry of activity saw  Allan Engel hole out in the deep(0) exhausted after running a quick two in the previous over. Debutant Phil Reay (2) looked in control until he raised his bat for the “perfect leave” only for the ball to clatter his stumps and Richard Evans  used his tennis skills to smack a six straight over the bowlers head   but holed later in the over (11) Jake Spearman (1) looked to have plenty of class strokes but was unluckily run out  Kerr (8) with a few balls left hit two fours but was caught leaving Stan(n.o 0) and Spearman Senior (n.o.1) to close the innings on 176/9   (Walker 8o/4m/1w/17r)

Tea was taken  Splendid spread with home made cakes chocolate brownies and Battenberg cake (so much we took some home Lee!)

With no fast bowlers in the team Captain West  opened with Spearman/ Cox M .  Spearmint opened with a maiden and had his man first ball of his next over – and Coxy pushed one down the leg side only for the No.3 to clip it with is pad and bowled him middlepeg! Bodleian were 21/2 after 10 overs  West brought himself on as first change with Stan at the other end  Westy picked up a wicket in his 2nd over and already looking at his averages took himself off . BPCC outfielding was outstanding with catches held and some excellent work in the deep especially from Jake Spearman –Champagne moment was Stan’s stop pick up and sharp return in one movement that was reminiscent of his early dancefloor days.Phil the professor made the squareleg/midwicket area his own all afternoon and affected a good run out but replays showed their number5 was was even slower than Engel !  Gradually the Bodleian were falling behind the rate and Stoddart who bowled his allocated 8 overs on the bounce was eventually rewarded with a wicket in his penultimate and a wicket maiden in last  The Library had gone quiet  Their No2 (54) was eventually undone by the dark destroyer Stan by a well taken catch by Cox (who took more catches (1) and more wickets(1) than he scored runs!) Spearman came back to clean up with two more wickets (8/1/11/3) the denouement  trapping Walker middlepeg             Kerr (unsurprisingly) kept a clean sheet with no byes inspite of some wayward legside bowling.

We all retired to our new home “The Woodstock Arms” where we reflected on a great team winning effort played in gentlemanly fashion in the perfect backdrop  Canham who appeared on the boundary and in the pub later knew which side of the rope he would rather have been !  

Man of Match:  James Stoddard

 

Anon (Bertie Kerr)

21
May

BPCC v I Zingari – Sunday 14th May 2017

Martin Cox won the toss and, with  the complete and total agreement of his team-mates, opted to bat first. I repeat, the wholehearted and unquestioning acquiescence of every single one of his team-mates.

I Zingari brought a testing attack to Oxfordshire, two decent and pacy openers, a ‘quicker-than-he-looks’ first change, and a young fizzing leggie (10-1-19-3) who turned the ball square (Cricinfo tells me that he has a first-class bowling average of 11.83).

Most of the Blenheim top order came and went in short order, with only Stoddart looking comfortable. Once he departed for 39, caution became the watchword with Cox (M) and (a never-before-seen defensive) Walker attempting to repair the innings by batting out overs (without scoring any runs). When they went with the mighty ‘heim still in double figures, thoughts turned understandably to an early tea, to be closely followed by early nibbles at the Woodstock Arms. The visitors presumably hoped for the same, as they brought back their opening bowlers to polish off the tail.

But, as the old saying goes, there’s many a slip ‘tween fried scampi and tartare sauce. (Note to Ed: check exact saying). First a buccaneering Angol (10) and then, wonder of wonders, Spearman (26) [that’s TWENTY-SIX for those of you reading the teleprinter] edged, guided and finally flayed the jazz-hatted toffs to take the palace players to a somewhat less depressing 132 all out, right on the stroke of (the Smartie-less and therefore sub-standard) tea. [Note to Scorer: please check if a batsman, run out after thinking the umpire has signalled ‘four’ when in fact the umpire is waving at him to stop running down the centre of the wicket, and is then ludicrously reprieved by an embarrassed opposition, is entitled to consider his TWENTY-SIX runs a ‘personal best’.]

Nigel Walker has seen it all. Born during the depths of the Boer War, growing up during the Depression in 1920’s coal country, being forced to watch Yorkshire CCC batting at 0.38 runs per over during the sixties and seventies. So playing against painted public-school popinjays holds no terrors for the wily wizard of Woodstock. He reeled off eight sterling overs, taking three top wickets for only 22. Young George then produced a fine but unlucky spell; his one wicket could easily have been three or four. But we’d scored too few runs, and the young fizzing bastard leggie of earlier (who Cricinfo tells me has a first-class batting average of 80.50)  anchored their innings with 46*, and saw them home to a four wicket win.

El Treasurino

21
May

BPCC v Warwick University Staff – 7th May 2017

Sunday’s season opener against Warwick Uni Staff saw us just failing to get over the line falling 7 runs short in a low scoring game with some standout bowling performances on an early season green top. The Oppo won the toss and chose to bat and our lead bowlers Walker, Cox Jr and Gokani (4 wickets) did a great job taking regular wickets and keeping the score down. Although they did get away a little after that, eventually they were all out for 148 in around 35 overs.

Tea was taken in good mood and we all enjoyed Mike’s birthday celebration although no bumps. Our reply faltered from ball one when we realised that their average batting was counterbalanced by an excellent bowling attack, we were always behind the chase losing steady wickets with nobody fluent with the bat and finally slipped to defeat with four balls left and 7 runs required when Walker holed out trying to clear the infield after Kerr’s lusty blows (yes you are reading that correctly) gave a glimmer of hope.

A tense but good game against well matched opposition. Man of the match goes to Will Cox for his top score with the bat and excellent opening spell.

Malcolm

21
Aug

BPCC V South Wales Hunts 2pm 16th August 2015

Courtesy of Allan Engel

Things we never thought we’d see again:

A betamax cassette, the UK winning the Eurovision Song Contest and Phil Spearman taking a wicket. Well, let me just dig out my video of Katrina and the Waves because Rhino, the Vicar of Dibbly Dobbly, not only took a wicket, he took two. Against a decent team. On a relaid Blenheim wicket. And one of them was bowled

img_6457.

 

 

South Wales Hunts (not, apparently, cockney rhyming slang) were yesterday’s visitors, and were inserted in a timed game (although the precise timings were disconcertingly fluid). Nigel pulled up with an injury in his third over, but Gorgeous Georgie T and Raj bowled exceptionally well against a strong batting lineup, keeping the runs down and always looking dangerous. After them, Will and Phil kept up the pressure and SWH eventually declared at a belated tea interval for somewhere between 190 (the total in the scorebook) and 210 (the total on the scoreboard).

 

In the long and storied history of cricket teas (a volume on the subject is due to be published by Joe West), a footnote will have to be found for yesterday’s effort. Never content to bow to the mediocre, the Talbots rustled up paella, chocolate biscuits and assorted berries. And beer. (There were no Smarties, so Get Well Soon Mike). The opposition were unanimous in their approval, but they are an exceedingly polite bunch.

 

To get close to their total, a depleted BPCC batting lineup were going to need something miraculous from Coxy and AN Other. Coxy came to the party with yet another half-century, but no-one else stayed with him for very long. Soon enough, thoughts turned to saving the game, and determined efforts from George, Will and Rob Kerr to bat out time were successful. If you have a betting slip for Shergar to win the Grand National ridden by Elvis Presley, I’d try and find it sharpish. It’s less unlikely than the lofted boundary over mid-off that Rob Kerr unfurled in the final over.

 

We may have finished a hundred short, but we drew, so take that you Hunts.